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Pop Culture

Jackie Hoffman sits down with Judy Gold at the 92 Street Y

Jackie Hoffman is one of my favorite Jewish comedians.

Does cheerleading matter to Jewish women?

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is considering a proposal to recognize competitive cheerleading as an emerging sport, a step towards legitimacy as a championship sport. Anyone who has seen competitive cheerleading (and the injuries cheerleaders often sustain) can understand why; it’s a physically demanding and dangerous version of gymnastics where people perform flips and handstands not on a balance beam, but on top of a human pyramid.

Live from Youtube, it's Gilda Radner!

Twenty two years ago today, Gilda Radner's life was cut short by ovarian cancer.

Fun with Hasidic photoshop

Earlier this week, the ultra-Orthodox, Hasidic Jewish newspaper Der Tzitung incited outrage by photoshopping Hillary Clinton and Audrey Thomason out of the Situation Room in an iconic photo in the name of tzniut, or modesty. A few days later, it's an internet meme. People are photoshopping women out of important or iconic images, with results that are either hilarious or harrowing as women are literally erased from our public memories.

Rachel Berry's nose job

Glee might be a poorly written, pandering, and completely infuriating show, but it remains to be the only mainstream TV show today with a lead female character who is open about her Jewish identity. The topic of this week's episode, "Born this Way," was about Jewish women and nose jobs. In the episode, stereotypical Jewish girl Rachel Berry, played by Lea Michele, considers getting a nose job.

Spanx may make panty lines invisible, but can't smooth over feminist critique

This delicious article in the Boston Globe had me pumping my feminist fist in the air! In a report on the Combined Jewish Philanthropies Women’s Philanthropy’s annual Pomegranate event held at Congregation Mishkan Tefilah in Chestnut Hill, MA, Beth Teitell reported that there were no "visible panty lines," or "VPLs."

Why Rachel Berry deserves our compassion

Recently in The Forward, Jay Michaelson compared four characters from “Glee” to the “Four Children” from the Passover seder tradition. What I loved about the piece was Michaelson’s point that for young Jews, Jewish identity is one variable in a multi-variable identity that youth will embrace, when and if they find it meaningful. What bothered me about the piece was the language Michaelson used describing Rachel Berry, the analogous “Wise Child,” as an “irritating control freak” and “intolerable.” It was particularly difficult to read this because, well, I used to be Rachel Berry.

Jew Parodies: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Is anyone else getting sick of Jewish song parodies? Every month it seems a new Jewish group puts out a parody of some pop song where they change the lyrics from "I love you" to "I love Jews," add in a few references to bagels or bar mitzvahs, and suddenly the video is posted on every single Jewish website that ever existed. I will admit that a few of these videos are quite good, but the majority are blatant pandering or borderline offensive and overall just getting on my nerves. 

Better than Valentine's Day: Three things to celebrate instead!

In case you haven't heard, today is Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day isn't really a Jewish holiday, but since it's a "Hallmark holiday," it's for everyone. Lucky you! 

While some folks enjoy Valentine's Day (all the power to them!), many do not. As Jill of Feministe reminds us, many people like to project all their insecurities and issues onto Valentine's Day. Of course, it's easy to understand why this happens -- thanks to the barrage of messages about love and cuteness on display. 

The trouble with nice Jewish boys and girls

Firemen and Chipendales have had their spotlight long enough! This Nice Jewish Guys Calendar turns the spotlight on the underrated characteristic that pecs and tight buns can't deliver...niceness. The Nice Jewish Guys Calendar features a different mensch for every month of the calendar year. Meet Brian, whose favorite movie is Annie Hall, and Michael who doesn't look Jewish, but is. 

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Pop Culture." (Viewed on June 29, 2016) <http://jwa.org/blog/culture>.

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